Gillespie new BU Protestant campus minister

For immediate release: Sept. 5, 2007

BLOOMSBURG — A Bloomsburg resident with a long history of service is the new Protestant campus minster at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. The Rev. Maggie Gillespie was selected for the position by the Protestant Campus Ministry Board, which consists of pastors from area churches.

Gillespie received her doctoral degree in educational psychology from the University of Texas-Austin. Originally from Chicago, Gillespie moved to Bloomsburg with her family 13 years ago. As her family grew, Gillespie felt “a progressive sense of being called into ministry.” After being ordained, she served at several area churches, including her most recent post as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Sunbury.

Gillespie applied for the position as Protestant campus minister after reading the job description and finding it compelling. “I have always loved the university setting,” Gillespie said. “It is an exciting environment. I am interested in working with young people who may be questioning and are open to trying new things.”

This emphasis on students is an important aspect of Gillespie’s role as minister. “I look forward to teaching Bible studies and helping students learn and grow. I hope to get to know these students well and share in their lives.”

Gillespie’s responsibilities as Protestant campus minister give her the opportunity to interact with students often. She leads an evening worship service every Sunday in the Kehr Union Multicultural Center. She also organizes weekly Bible studies and covenant groups for students and coordinates weekend retreats. One of the highlights of the ministry’s activities is an advent banquet every December. “We bring in a well-known speaker and invite members of local churches. It is an opportunity for church members to come to campus and meet students,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie hopes to coordinate Protestant campus ministry with other groups on campus, particularly groups that emphasize service. “Service is a significant part of our Christian identity,” Gillespie said. “I hope to connect with other groups to continue that involvement.”

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.